Frequently Asked Questions
1. How many scholarships are financed by the Durham Palestine Educational Trust?
We were able to fund 2 scholarships each year 2005-2009 and 3 scholarships each year since then. We hope to continue to offer 2 or 3 scholarships each year but this will depend on the Trust's income.
2. Can I apply for a scholarship if I have done a Bachelor's degree outside of the West Bank or Gaza?
No. Our scholarships are designed for Palestinians who have not yet had the opportunity to study abroad.
3. Do the Trust's selectors have a preference for graduates of any particular subject?
No. Graduates of all subjects are considered equally. Likewise, men and women, and residents of the West Bank and Gaza, are considered equally.
4. Who should I choose as referees?
Your first referee should have taught you in your major degree subject. Your second referee could be your employer, someone who has supervised your community or voluntary work or another teacher from your university. Your referees should not be related to you (i.e. members of your family). Please ask your referees for permission to use their names in your application and obtain from them an email address and telephone number at which we can contact them. We will not ask for reports from your referees until you are shortlisted for our scholarships.
5. Why does the Trust ask for a minimum GPA of 80% in applicants' first degree?
High academic ability is the single most important criteria for selection for one of our scholarships. Masters degree courses at Durham University are academically demanding and the candidates we select for our scholarships have to gain admission to Durham University on the same terms as every other applicant. Many of our applicants have a GPA that is much higher than 80%. Thus, accepting applications from candidates with a GPA of less than 80% would result in these candidates wasting a lot of effort in making applications only to be disappointed when they were rejected.
6. Why does academic ability account for only 10% of the points in the Trust's selection criteria?
Before we introduced the 80% GPA minimum, we allocated 50% of the points in our selection marking system to academic ability. Setting 80% GPA as a condition of eligibility has enabled us to increase the points available for the other criteria at the selection stage.
7. What is a satisfactory English language test result?
Your application will not be accepted unless you have a satisfactory score in a recognised English language test taken with a 2 year period before the start of your course in Durham.
The preferred English Language test is IELTS (Academic). Note that the TOEFL is no longer accepted for UK visa applications.
Most courses at Durham University require an IELTS score of 6.5 or more including at least 6.0 in every element. Other courses require 7.0. The requirement for each course can be found on the webpage List of Master's Degree Courses.
Some other tests (e.g. those administered by Cambridge ESOL, Cambridge Internatioanl Examinations, City and Guilds Institute, ETS, Pearson and Trinity College, London) may be acceptable with satisfactory scores. If you have any questions about these tests and the scores required, please email us.
We look for these high standards because English Language proficiency is crucial for high marks in Durham University courses and students who do not have very good English are likely to have an unhappy year. Also a satisfactory level of English proficiency is required in order to obtain a UK visa.
8. What if I can not afford to take an English Language test?
We recognise that some potential applicants cannot afford to take an English Language test. Consequently, we will offer up to five English Language Test Scholarships. If you wish to apply for one of these, go to the webpage Apply for IELTS Fee Scholarship and send us the appropriate application form by 31 January.
If you are selected for one of these scholarships, the Durham Palestine Educational Trust will pay the IELTS registration fee for you to take a test in November and supply you with some learning materials. Apart from not having a satisfactory English Language test result, you will need to fulfil the same conditions of eligibility as applicants for our Master's Degree scholarships.
If you gain a satisfactory IELTS score, we will welcome your application for a Master's Degree scholarship in the following year but we can not guarantee you a place on the scholarship shortlist. Your application will be considered alongside those of other Master's degree scholatrship applicants.
9. When should I send you my degree and other certificates?
We select 6-8 candidates for our shortlist. If you are shortlisted, we will ask you to send us original or certified copies of your degree transcript, your degree certificate and your English Language certificate. Do not send any documents until we ask you to do so.
10. Should I also make an application for admission to Durham Univrsity?
Normally, we ask candiadtes for our scholarships NOT to apply for admission to Durham University until we inform them (usually March) that they have been selected for our scholarship shortlist Then we advise them about the answers to some of the questions on the University's online application form. This advice can avoid problems later (e.g. on College membership).
However, anyone can make an online application to Durham University at any time (see here). You may need to do this if you are applying for other scholarships that require you to have a university admission offer. If you apply for a course at Durham University Business School, you will be asked to pay a £50 application fee but you can avoid this if ours is the only scholarship for which you are applying and you do not apply until we ask you to do so.